Oct 14, 2008

New Spy DVDs Out This Week - Updated


It's a big week for DVDs, with another one hot on its heels as next week sees the release of the James Bond Blu-Rays...

Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection

Today sees the release of that awesome new Hitchcock box set from MGM, The Premiere Collection. This one includes new versions (with different extras) of the long out-of-print (and very pricey) Criterion titles Notorious, Spellbound and Rebecca, as well as The Lodger, The Paradine Case, Young and Innocent, Sabotage and Lifeboat. Complementing these fantastic titles is a slew of new extras, including "audio commentaries, featurettes, screen tests, still galleries, vintage radio interviews, an AFI Tribute to Hitchcock, a 32-page notebook with trivia, production notes and more about the legendary director and more." Every film also has at least one commentary track. The specific spy movies included here are Sabotage (adapted from Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent) and the masterpiece Notorious. The latter boasts two commentaries by film historians, an isolated music and effects track, "The Ultimate Romance: The Making of Notorious" featurette, "Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Spymaster" featurette, an AFI Tribute to Hitchcock, a 1948 radio play starring Joseph Cotton and Ingrid Bergman, a Peter Bogdanovich audio interview, a second audio interview with François Truffaut interviewing Hitch, a restoration comparison, a still gallery and a four page booklet. Whew! This set makes the ideal companion to Universal's and Warner Bros.' Hitchcock sets.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

While they're all indebted to (and often one-up) the James Bond series, Crystal Skull is the first Indy movie that can really be called a spy movie, since the antagonists are KGB agents led by Cate Blanchett's ice-cold Agent Irina Spalko. No, it's not as good as the original trilogy, but it's still a great adventure movie in its own right, and Harrison Ford doesn't miss a beat stepping back into his famous fedora-ed role almost two decades after The Last Crusade. The late fifties time period will also appeal to fans of classic spy flicks, best showcased in a stunning car and motorcycle chase through New Haven. The two-disc version is loaded with extras, as expected.

Additionally, Best Buy is offering all three sets of Young Indiana Jones DVDs (in which Indy spends much of WWI as a spy) for just $49.99 each to tie in with Crystal Skull's debut. This is a considerable discount over their $100+ retail price.

The Unit

Fox releases The Complete Third Season of its covert ops drama The Unit today, loaded with extras. This series, masterminded by David Mamet and Shield creator Shawn Ryan is an interesting look at the military side of spying.

Sweet Sixteen

Fans of The Avengers will also want to be on the lookout this week for the 1983 horror movie Sweet Sixteen, in which Patrick Macnee plays the father of a promiscuous teenage girl, all of whose male conquests suddenly turn up dead immediately after sleeping with her. The new director's cut DVD comes courtesy of Code Red.

1 comment:

pacwarbuff said...

The Hitchcock box is my single-most desired item for Christmas this year! It's probably worth it just for 'Notorious'! Hope wifey gets my unsubtle hints about my request...